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Arsenal (A) Sun 1 Mar 2015, 14:05, Barclays Premier League


Attention turns away from Goodison Park for the next fortnight as Everton prepare for three successive fixtures on the road.

The Blues have just completed a run of five home games within the space of four weeks and are now tasked with trips to West Bromwich Albion, Stevenage and, of course, across Stanley Park for another eagerly-anticipated Merseyside derby, all before the end of January.

Former Toffee Kevin Kilbane is optimistic that by the time Everton entertain Aston Villa at the start of next month they will have three more victories to their name.

Goodison has been a fortress since the season started, with the Blues racking up an impressive nine victories on home soil in all competitions, but it is Everton’s ambition to win wherever they play that has been the most marked difference under Roberto Martinez, according to Kilbane.

The victory at Manchester United has been the most noteworthy result away from Merseyside, but the Toffees have also taken maximum points on their visits to Upton Park, Villa Park and the Liberty Stadium – evidence to support Kilbane’s opinion.

“I think Roberto Martinez has been quick to say that it has been a continuation of last season but I have certainly been impressed with the way Everton have gone about things against the top teams,” Kilbane told evertontv.

“The style of play hasn’t changed from one week to the next and they have really gone out to try and win games instead of trying to contain some of the top teams. It’s been very impressive to watch.

“I was at the West Ham game and I was particularly impressed. In the first-half, West Ham were the better team but defensively Everton looked sound. They looked like they weren’t going to be beaten too easily but attacking-wise they didn’t quite reach top gear.

“Romelu Lukaku and James McCarthy came on and they found their feet immediately and I think that was probably the start of the season for Everton, that second half at Upton Park. It really got them ticking over and into the mould of thinking that wherever we go, we are going to go there and win.

“I was really impressed with that second half. Obviously there were the two unbelievable Leighton Baines free-kicks but I thought that was the start of the run they have been on up to now.”

The next fixture in Everton’s schedule is Monday evening’s Premier League clash against another of Kilbane’s old clubs, West Bromwich Albion.

The former Republic of Ireland international can only foresee one outcome.

“I think it will be entertaining and it will be a good game, but I think Everton will win it because of the form they have shown this season,” added Kilbane. “They have got better players and are playing at a level that is probably superior to West Brom right now.

“But as the Premier League has proved in recent years, you can’t take anything for granted.”

Martinez ended Everton’s hoodoo at Old Trafford and Kilbane also believes the Spaniard can guide the Blues to a long overdue win at Anfield on Tuesday 28 January.

He continued: “Everton have proved that they can go away from home and compete with the best and I think they can go there with momentum behind them and win.  

“I saw the game at Anfield last season and I thought Everton played very well. They were unlucky not to take more from the game on that day but I think this time the belief is certainly with them.

“It’s a continuation from last season – Roberto has added calibre to the squad and going away from home now holds no fear. I think they can go there and get a positive result.”

Match tickets to Everton's next home Premier League game against Aston Villa on Saturday 1 February are on sale now. Click here to buy online, call 0871 663 1878* or visit the Box Office/TicketQuarter/Everton Two.

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